'Population swap as part of peace'

Ayalon: Demand to freeze settlements like demanding PA give up right of return.

By BY JPOST.COM STAFF
February 13, 2010 13:31
2 minute read.
Danny Ayalon frown

Danny Ayalon. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel and a future Palestinian state should agree to land swaps that would make settlement blocs part of Israel proper and certain Arab towns now in Israel part of a future Palestinian state, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in an interview published on Saturday.

Ayalon also said that the Palestinian demand to stop settlement construction as a precondition to negotiations was unrealistic, and would be like Israel demanding that the PA, as a precondition to talks, give up its demand for a “right of return” for Palestinian refugees.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In an interview with the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Alawsat, Ayalon said Israeli Arabs “would not lose anything” by joining the Palestinian state as part of a land swap.

“If Israeli Arabs say that they are proud Palestinians, why should they not be proud in the Palestinian state?” the Israel Beiteinu minister asked. This population could contribute to building the Palestinian state due to its high socioeconomic status, he said.

The idea, Ayalon said, was that the majority of Jews would live in Israel, and the majority of Palestinians would live in a future Palestinian state, while Arab and Jewish minorities could exist in both.

Ayalon said that settlements would not be a problem if a peace agreement was reached that recognized the right of both states to exist in security and cooperation.

“I think the claim that the settlements are an obstacle to peace is exaggerated,” he said. “We have proven in the past that settlements do not affect the end results, and examples of this are the evacuation of Sinai and dismantling of the Yamit settlement [in 1982] carried out by Ariel Sharon, as well as the disengagement from the Gaza Strip and the dismantling of the settlements there in 2005 by the Likud government led by Sharon,” he said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


On other issues, Ayalon – at an event in Givatayim on Saturday – praised the recent NATO offensive in Afghanistan, saying that this type of “determination” against terrorism in Afghanistan was also a signal of the West’s determination to act against the Iranian threat.

Teheran, Ayalon said, was behind the recent bellicose comments coming from Syria that were designed to divert the world’s attention from Iran’s nuclear program. “I hope that Syria will not be enticed by Iranian incitement to war,” he said.

Ayalon, who was heckled last week while trying to give a speech at Oxford University, also related to the campaign against Israeli speakers on campuses abroad, saying that Israel must see this as a “diplomatic and public diplomacy battle” for which it has to prepare.

“On the one had we have to deter those who want to cause a disturbance, by registering complaints with the police, and on the other hand we have to prepare the Jewish students so they can respond appropriately to these incidents,” he said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN